If you’re like the average American, your phone plays a big role in your life. It lets you keep in touch with your family and friends, and you can use it to store precious data, including photos, contacts, and payment details. It’s important to keep your phone safe from hackers so that you can protect your personal information and use your mobile device as intended. Below, you can discover how to protect your phone from being hacked and what to do if you become a victim of phone hacking.
Can Someone Hack My Phone?
Yes. It’s possible for hackers to infiltrate any device, no matter what kind it is, what operating system it uses, or how old or new it is. The data that your device contains may be enticing to several types of people. For example, cybercriminals may attempt to hack an unsuspecting individual’s phone to acquire credit card information. A phone-owning individual may also have an acquaintance who wants to access their private data, including photos and messages. With various reasons for phone hacking, it’s important to protect yourself against it.
Tips for Protecting Your Phone From Hackers
The following are some tips you can implement to protect your phone from hackers:
Lock Your Phone Using a PIN or Password
One of the simplest precautions you can take to protect your phone from hackers is to lock it using a PIN or password. When you’re creating a PIN or password, you can follow a few safety tips for password creation. For example, avoid including any variation or abbreviation of the word “password.” Also, refrain from using keyboard sequences, such as “123456,” “abc123,” and “QWERTY.” Instead, choose a unique phrase, and incorporate numbers and special characters when possible.
If your device supports it, you may also choose to lock your phone with a finger pattern, facial recognition, or fingerprint reading. To add additional security, consider enabling two-factor authentication with certain apps. When you attempt to log in, you’ll have to confirm your attempt with a text message or email. This can help prevent a malicious individual from remotely logging into one of your accounts.
Be Mindful of Which Apps You Download
It’s important to be aware of what apps you download. Avoid downloading apps outside your device’s official app store unless you’re fully confident of the app’s source. When you download apps from your device’s official app store, read each description carefully. While official app stores are less likely to contain malicious content, hackers may still be able to successfully make their products available for download in these seemingly safe locations. You can also look at the quantity and content of the app’s reviews to determine other users’ experiences.
Delete Old Apps and Update the Ones You Keep
Take a minute to scroll through your phone. If you notice any apps that you no longer use, consider deleting them and all their associated data. Taking this initiative can prevent a hacker from accessing data from an old app that hasn’t received relevant updates. Apps without the most recent security updates are most vulnerable to hacking.
For any apps that you decide to keep, ensure that you’ve downloaded the latest updates for them. Having the most recent updates can help you address potential security issues. You may also turn on auto updates for all your apps so that you won’t have to complete manual updates in the future.
Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) When You’re in Public
No phone user wants to consume all their data when they’re in public. While it can be tempting to connect to public Wi-Fi without blinking an eye, it’s important for you to first take the precaution of using a VPN, which lets you privately connect to an unsecured public network. This way, you can safely use the internet in a public place, such as a hotel, airport, or cafe, without worrying about the ill intentions of active hackers.
Signs That Your Phone Has Been Hacked
The following are some signs that may indicate a hacker has broken into your phone:
Unexplained App Behavior
As IT experts in cloud computing solutions and backup and disaster recovery, we see unexplained app behavior as one of the most common signs of hacking. In a business setting, this sign may look like apps running slowly, restarting unexpectedly, or opening without prompting. This sign may also become apparent on a personal device that’s been hacked. It often indicates that malware is operating in your device’s activity background.
High Data Usage
Sometimes, your data usage may increase for normal reasons. For instance, you may upload dozens of high-quality pictures while you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. However, if your data usage increases without an explanation, someone may have hacked your phone. You can check your data usage in your phone’s settings and look for unexplained spikes.
Poor Device Performance
If you notice poor overall device performance rather than a problem with a single app, your phone may have been hacked. A phone that overheats often, loads all apps slowly, or depletes its battery quickly may have malicious hardware that’s causing its performance to suffer.
What To Do if Your Phone Is Hacked
The following are some measures you can take to regain control of your phone after it’s been hacked:
Delete Suspicious Apps
Go into your phone’s settings and review all your apps. Look for apps that are consuming a lot of data unnecessarily and apps with unfamiliar names. Delete any suspicious apps, as this can help you remove malware from your phone.
Factory Reset Your Phone
If you’re unsure of what the origin of your phone being hacked is, you can factory reset your phone. This action will delete all your data, including contacts and photos. It’s best to implement this tip if you have a backup copy of all your data before the security breach.
Conduct a Virus Scan
Download reputable antivirus software to your phone. You can often find free antivirus apps in your phone’s official app store. A good antivirus app will verify links before you click on them, scan apps for malware, offer Wi-Fi security, and conduct web filtering.
Now that you have tips for protecting your personal device from hackers, it’s time to get your company’s digital security in check. Here at Golden Tech, we offer comprehensive IT solutions for businesses. Contact us today to learn more about what services we offer to help your business operate safely and efficiently.